How to Apply Oil-Based Paint to Cabinets

What You'll Need
Mild detergent
Sandpaper, 100 to 220 grit
Clean rags
Putty or wood filler
Wide metal scraper
Masking tape
Old newspapers
Drop cloths
Old clothes
Safety glasses
Brushes, 1, 2 and 3 inches wide
Roller and roller pan
Primer paint
Oil based paint

Knowing how to apply oil based paint to cabinets will take most of the guesswork out of improving their appearance. In a single weekend, depending on your skill, you can quickly, easily and inexpensively add a new look to the décor of your kitchen cabinets, moldings and doors. Applying oil based paint to cabinets will not only increase their use for years to come, it will also give them a durable protective coating that can be easily washed. This means less work for the homeowner.

Step 1: Surface Preparation

Begin by cleaning all surfaces that are to be painted with a mild detergent or household cleaner. Next, apply putty to any holes or deep scratches in the cabinet surfaces while also removing stains or small blemishes. Carefully and gently sand the surfaces to be painted. This will leave small scratches in the surface to which the new paint will adhere, while leaving a smooth surface. Wipe all surfaces clean with dry rags.

Remove cabinet door handles or knobs and hinges if desired. If not, be sure to wrap the door and draw pulls with old newspaper and mask carefully. Also mask off hinges if they are not being removed. Cover all surfaces that are not to be painted with old newspapers and apply drop cloths to cover all flooring near the cabinets.

Step 2: Apply Primer

Using long, even strokes apply a good primer to all surfaces of the cabinetry. Work carefully around hinges, door knobs and pulls, as well as bordering walls, floors and ceilings. Use the wider brush or roller for larger surfaces and smaller brushes for more detailed or exacting work. Depending on the quality of the primer, one coat may be sufficient, but if not, allow primer to dry thoroughly before applying a second coat.

Step 3: Apply Oil Based Paint to Cabinets

Be sure to wear safety goggles and a respirator when applying oil based paint to cabinets. Additionally, apply it in a well ventilated area. Oil based paint works well on cabinets that get a lot of use; it will also dry to a strong, durable finish which will clean up easily and quickly. Apply paint with a wide brush being sure to use long, smooth strokes. Apply a generous coat of oil based paint using the roller for larger surfaces. This initial coat may sufficiently cover the cabinets, but if an additional coat is required or preferred, this paint will take longer to dry and must be dried before applying an additional coat.

Clean up of oil based paint and equipment for cabinets will require cleanup with solvents, but it will go on with fewer brush strokes and the finish will outlast many of the latex products on the market. Carefully remove masking tape from fixtures, and use the smaller brush to touch up any missed spots.